It seems we are all in the dark as to how the Mets are going to spend their money this off-season.Â One day, we are major players for Roy Halladay and John Lackey, the next we are limited to spending only $20 mill.Â If there is anything evident about what’s going on behind closed doors in the Mets front offices, it’s that indeed nothing isÂ evidentÂ at all.Â The general uncertainty of the Met strategy so far has led me to really start considering that the organization may not be thrilled with what’s on the market right now, and they are content to possibly wait another year to really make a splash in the free agent pool.Â This sound familiarÂ KnickÂ fans?Â
Have the Mets resorted to a NY Knick-like strategy in that they will try to cut a rich contract or twoÂ (Castillo), patch up a few holes with mediocre talent and wait for a few big names to become available next year?Â Let’s weigh the advantages and disadvantages:
- Jason Bay and Matt HollidayÂ might not be worth the $100 mill+ Â multi year contracts they look to be on the verge of receiving.Â Let’s face it, there is a lot of room out there in the outfield of Citifield, and neither of these outfielders are known for their leather.Â And, after watching Gary Sheffield, Daniel Murphy, Angel Pagan, Jeremy Reed and whoever else they brought in to patrol the outfield the last 2 years I think Met fans all agree on the worth of a strong defense.Â Let’s also consider that BayÂ isÂ far from aÂ .300 hitterÂ and Holliday has not proven he can hit without the help of thin Colorado air.Â
- John Lackey hasnt won more than 12 games since ’07 and has only won more than 15 once.Â Since his rookie year when the Angels won the World Series in ’02, Lackey has gone 1-4 in the playoffs.Â Let’s not forget that Lackey has also had an exceptional defense behind him year after year out in Anaheim.Â
- Waiting another year would give our prospects more time to develop whether we are getting them ready for call up or using them as trade bait.Â Guys like Fernando Martinez and Jonathan Niese who have already had a taste of the big leagues might give us promise for the future.Â
- I realize thisÂ could beÂ a long shot,Â but maybe the organization is trying out Wally Backman in the minors.Â Maybe we give him a year to prove himself with the same youngsters we may need next year and are able to consider himÂ asÂ Â Manuel’s successor.Â
- Finally, just some big names toÂ throw outÂ as to who might be available in 2001: Joe Mauer, Carl Crawford (hard not to love this one), Victor Martinez, Adam Dunn, Josh Beckett, and of course King Albert (wishful thinking).
- David Wright, Jose Reyes, Johan Santana, Carlos Beltran…this team is built to win now.Â Beltran and Santana aren’t getting any younger.Â Another playoff miss and dare I even say it…but we might hear a few whispers around the clubhouse of these core guys contemplating jumping ship for a better contender.Â These guys aren’t exactly David Lee, Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari.Â You can afford to wait a year or two when you have young players who are still developing, but we are talking about playes in their prime…some of the best in the game.
- Roy Halladay is an absolute stud.Â If you are passing on Roy Halladay and your team is in desperate need of starting pitching, then who the hell are you waiting for to become available?Â Pairing Johan with Halladay has a chance to really be historical. Â I can’t imagine any big market team not taking its shot.
- So if we are not major players this year in free agency, then here are the second and third tier guys we are going to look at: Randy Wolf, Jason Marquis, Mark DeRosa, Joel Piniero, Marlon Byrd..etc.Â Wonderful.Â There is a reason Mark DeRosa has been on 17 different teams in his career.Â These are guys probablyÂ considered solid mid-season pick ups for contending teams.Â Even without Bay or Holliday as true perennial all-stars, the drop off between them and the alternatives seems drastic.
- Without a real effort to improve the ballclub after a disastrous first year in a brand new ballpark, there will not be many happy Met fans to say the least.Â If the team underperforms early,Â it’s quite possible Citifield might have some angry fans, and some empty seats.
Is it possible the Knicks and the Mets have the same strategy this year?Â I hate to say, any strategy or plan even slightly resembling what is going on in the Garden lately cannot be viewed as a good thing.Â However, maybe what’s available is not the right fit now.Â Â The MetsÂ may not want to overpay this year simply to bring in new faces.Â Maybe they see something down the line that we don’t.Â I hope these guys knowÂ what they’re doing, because your guess is as good as mine.